Objective—To evaluate effects of cyclosporine, dexamethasone, and the immunosuppressive agent human CTLA4-Ig on cytokine production by feline lymphocytes in vitro and to assess patterns of cytokine production for 5 immunosuppressed renal transplant recipient cats.
Animals—21 clinically normal cats and 5 immunosupressed renal transplant recipient cats.
Procedures—Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from clinically normal cats and stimulated with concanavalin A (Con A; 10 μg/mL) alone or Con A with cyclosporine (0.05 μg/mL), dexamethasone (1 × 10−7M), a combination of cyclosporine-dexamethasone, or human CTLA4-Ig (10 g/mL). Cells from transplant recipients were stimulated with Con A alone. An ELISA was performed to measure production of interferon (IFN)-γ, granulocyte macrophage–colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and IL-10. Proliferation of CD4+ and CD8+T cells from immunosuppressed cats were also evaluated. Pairwise comparisons were performed via a Wilcoxon signed rank test or Wilcoxon rank sum test.
Results—Cyclosporine, dexamethasone, cyclosporine-dexamethasone combination, and CTLA4-Ig caused a significant decrease in IL-2, IFN-γ, and GM-CSF production. Cyclosporine and cyclosporine-dexamethasone, but not human CTLA4-Ig, caused a significant decrease in IL-10 production. High basal concentrations of IL-2 and IL-10 were identified in transplant recipients, and IL-10 was significantly increased in stimulated cultures. In immunosuppressed cats, there was a decrease in frequency of responders and proliferative capacity of CD4+ and CD8+T cells.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CTLA4-Ig successfully inhibited proinflammatory cytokines while sparing cytokines critical for allograft tolerance. These data may be useful for developing better strategies to prevent rejection while sparing other immune functions.